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343

The chunky man looked back over his shoulder. " Yeah,
yeah," he said, almost jeeringly, " he's a schoolteacher/'

"Why don't you start there?" the officer demanded. Then
to the soldiers in the hall: "Allen, Forbes, go with him."

Two of the soldiers entered the room, lifting their feet in a
cautious tread as though on treacherous ice, or as though
afraid of smearing the floor with the red mud that was thick
on their shoes. One of them, as he passed, glanced apolo-
getically at Mr. Munn.

The officer stood in the middle of the room, waiting. No
one spoke. The dogs on the front porch were now barking
intermittently.

The deputy and the soldiers came back. Then they
searched the back of the house and the rooms across the hall.
All the while the officer, saying nothing, stood there with Pro-
fessor Ball and Mr. Munn.

The deputy returned and stood in the hall door.

"All right," the officer said. "Let's look upstairs." He
went toward the hall, saying to Professor Ball, "You better
come, too." Then to one of the soldiers, "You keep an eye
on him." With a jerk of his thumb he indicated Mr. Munn.

The women had entered from the next room. They stood
grouped closely together, and looked, as from a painful in-
quiring distance, at the men.

"Just a minute," Mr. Munn said abruptly.

The officer turned, and looked at him.

Maybe, Mr. Munn thought, maybe. He was conscious of
the eyes of the women upon him. He could not see them,
but he was aware of them looking, leaning. He thought, If
I make a row, maybe they won't go up, maybe they'll just
take me and go, and they can't do anything to me, not to
me, they haven't got anything on me.

" What do you want?" the officer demanded impatiently.

To Mr. Munn it seemed as though he had just rediscovered
the officer standing there, as though he himself had been
lost in some great lag of time, and now, suddenly, had risen
again into time, like a diver bursting to the surface.